Tag Archives: Death

My Mother’s Southern Jewels by Ethel Cook-Wilson


My Mother’s Southern Jewels is a candid, yet poignant, collection of short stories, each centering around the life of a person with a ‘jewel’ of a name. Each story examines the life, and subsequent death, of the jewels.

The stories begin with an obituary, which would seem an odd approach, but these are also written with such tenderness, they don’t seem jarring or out of place.

Cook-Wilson’s writing voice beautifully and lyrically captures the individuals and their points of view. One can almost hear her voice gently caressing them. She uses different points of view and voice to characterize the narrator of the story, bringing the individuals to life, before laying them to rest.

I loved this book! I laughed and cried throughout. Each tale stands alone, but they all come together to form one gem of a collection.

Five Golden Acorns
© Dellani Oakes

To Buy My Mother’s Southern Jewels

Faces Behind the Stones – Fran Lewis


faces behindFaces Behind the Stones #1 is an eerie collection of tales told by the dead themselves. Each of the seven stories reveals what events brought them to their final resting place – an obscure, neglected corner of a graveyard.

Each character tells his or her own story. Often, the reader is left wondering—murder or suicide? All the people are forgotten, their graves ignored by the living, their graves overgrown. Why did these people have to die?

Sadly, none of the dead seemed to matter to the people they left behind. There is no one to grieve for them except a lone stranger who picks her way through the deserted cemetery.

Faces Behind the Stones is an incredible collection of stories, each more eerie and spine tingling than the last. Fran Lewis’ style is chatty and easy to read. The reader feels drawn into the characters as if they really are the ones speaking.

I highly recommend this creepy compilation and look forward to the other books in the series.

Below is a short review of the first tale in the collection: “Murder Through the Eyes of a Dead Woman”

MJ, a beautiful and successful woman in her 60’s, has a secret past that only she and a handful of people know about. She works for a doctor’s office and often goes in early and stays late. One day, she thinks she’s being followed. The feeling of being stalked doesn’t go away, it worsens. She wonders who’s following her and why. Has her past caught up with her? Or is something more insidious awaiting her?

Five Golden Acorns

© 2013 Dellani Oakes


Death and Living to Talk About It – Brian M. Hayden


death and living to talk about it“Death, Living to Talk About It” by Brian M. Hayden is a frank look at death from the point of view of the dying. Hayden doesn’t pull any punches, speaking of his heart and lung problems with honesty. He admits what he did to bring on his issues, not making excuses for himself. Smoking and drinking from a young age surely were major contributors to his health problems.

Hayden’s health issues began in 1989 when he experienced his first heart attack at the ripe old age of 35. From this point onward, his health degrades until doctors finally tell him it’s time to go to hospice. Resigned to his fate, he and his family arrange for him to go, only to pull him out again two weeks later. And guess what? He’s not dead yet!

Hayden was given that death sentence back in 2007. It’s 2011 and he’s still alive to talk about it. Hayden’s book chronicles his journey through heart attacks, blood clots, pulmonary problems, spots on his lungs, pace makers, COPD, migraines and medication issues. His life has been a series of doctor’s appointments, hospital visits, operations and treatments all designed to improve his quality of life. Some have the desired effect, others—not so much.

 Hayden’s courage and tenacity see him through. His loving supportive wife, Denise, whom he credits with saving his life more than once, also keeps him going. Her love and care make life tolerable for a man who’s seen death. Hayden stresses that life for the caregiver of the chronically ill isn’t easy. Denise has constantly been at his side, dealing with hospitals, doctors, medications and worries. This has been her journey as much as his. She sounds like an amazing woman.

“Death – Living to Talk About It” is a wonderfully readable book which gives hope to those with chronic health problems. It gives shows the reader that no matter how bad it gets, there is always hope.

My favorite quote says it all: “Hope and faith are very powerful, and while I cannot tell you that they are all you need, I can say with certainty that without it, there is no hope. Please read my story and think: if this poor bastard can still be skulking about after all he has been through; after all he is still going through, maybe I can too.”

I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially those dealing with chronic health issues.

Five Golden Acorns

© 2011 Dellani Oakes